Robert Mapplethorpe

Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac | Marais

Hedi Slimane’s selection of works by Robert Mapplethorpe (1946–89) followed earlier selections from the late photographer’s oeuvre by Cindy Sherman (Sean Kelly Gallery, New York, 2003) and David Hockney (Alison Jacques Gallery, London, 2005). Slimane, Dior Homme’s artistic director as well as a photographer, steered viewers away from flowers and erotica toward portraits, still lifes, and several fetish objects. But the choices revealed his own penchant for rock music’s stylistic nihilism. (He dresses rock musicians and has made photography books about backstage ambiences.)

In the entry gallery a tiny frontal nude, Self-Portrait, Polaroid, 1972, showed Mapplethorpe wearing an ornamental necklace, circa 1970, an element from Untitled (12 Necklaces), which hung adjacent. Across the gallery the dreamy, St. Sebastian–like Michael, 1974, a yellow-toned headshot, had the top molding of the

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